Poetry Beyond Semantics: Broken & Unbroken Code – Studio+

Poetry Beyond Semantics: Broken & Unbroken Code – Studio+

Explore the intimacy of poetry on the boundaries of the readerly and discover new possibilities for what poems can be.

From the assumptions that poetry is based on crafting thought into symbols and reading the deciphering of these, this course takes a step back from the content of a poem to explore the hidden potential of its framework and materials. In this studio we’ll look to language before it is deciphered, as it teeters on the edge of disclosure; from calligraphy to abstract art, undeciphered scripts to DNA, we’ll seek out poetic expressions that push the boundaries of traditional literature to ask how non-semantic poetry can hold a mirror to the human condition. 

Throughout this course we’ll take inspiration from literature, art, and archaeology, and experiment with a variety of methods and techniques. We’ll look at enigmas like the Rongorongo scriptures, the Swedish runes of Runamo and the Codex Seraphinus, take inspiration from Hermann Rorschach and Justinus Kerner, engage with the work of the Bokujin Group and the COBRA movement, as well as artists like Franz Kline, Lee Krasner and Judith Reigl, 20th century poets like Helen Smith, Ulfert Wilke, and Isodore Isou, and contemporary poets like Christian Bök and Rosaire Appel, and many more. 

This is a practical course that looks at what writing is made of in order to discover what can be made of writing. 

This is an expanded Studio Course, or Studio+, featuring a Portfolio of preliminary reading and 4 Assignments, to be completed over 5 intensive weeks of reading and writing. There are no live chats on this course, meaning it is suitable for both UK & International students.

Image credit: Isaac Chou

About VVBT View Profile

Vilde Valerie Bjerke Torset is a Norwegian writer and artist based in LONDON. she has been commissioned by The British Museum and The Royal Norwegian Embassy. Her work includes the poetry collection swallowing feathers (Sampson Low Ltd., 2019), and the asemic pamphlet (no title) (Penteract Press, 2019). Her book of visual poetry, Pareidolia – Dotremont’s Daughter, is coming out with Timglaset in the autumn of 2020. Her writing has been published in both English and Norwegian and been translated to Russian and French. She is the contributing editor of JEZGA Magazine. Her poetry performances, including both solo works and collaborations, have taken place at a range of national (UK) and international venues, including The British Museum, The National Centre for Writing, The Poetry Society, Jorvik Viking Centre, and London Rich Mix. 

‘The Poetry School programmes such thoughtful and unusual courses and enables poets to feel validated, to become more curious, more skilled, more engaged in poetry and the world.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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